With Spain falling short in the semi-final against Slovenia, who would eventually go on to take the title, this could have been a game that the Spaniards just wanted over and done with. Mind you, with Russia also involved in the third and fourth game for the Bronze medal, this would have been the Sunday game that most people were looking forward to, although obviously at a much later time of day.
Spain 93 – Russia 85
It may not have been the way that Juan Carlos Navarro wanted to end his Spanish career but after losing the semi-final, at least the Spanish legend managed to grab a medal to bring his national career to a halt. One key player in the victory was Pau Gasol who grabbed 26 points and 10 rebounds to enjoy a double-double in the game. This had been another successful tournament for Gasol on an individual basis as he became the all-time leading scorer in the FIBA EuroBasket earlier on in this tournament.
Russia battled back but fell short
This was a game that Spain were in strong control, leading by 17 points halfway through the third quarter but at this point, the Spanish became sloppy. The Russians capitalised on this and battled back to a place where they were just four points behind with less than two minutes in the game. The Spaniards were also missing Ricky Rubio who was ejected after a second unsportsmanlike foul but in the end, a Vitaly Fridzon miss gave the Spanish side a bit of breathing space and when they broke up the other end of the court to score, the Spaniards had enough momentum to see the game out. If Fridzon scored, the deficit would have been down to one point and anything could have happened but in the end, the Spanish held on for a hard-fought but deserved win.
Alexey Shved offered 18 points in the loss while Timofey Mogozov had a strong game, offering 14 points and 10 rebounds, joining Gasol in taking a double-double out of this game. In the end though, it wasn’t enough as Spain grabbed a medal, even if it wasn’t the medal they were aiming for at the 2017 EuroBasket tournament in Turkey.